The hotel and the learning center is being funded, in part with a million dollar gift from the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation. The gift will offset costs associated with the development of the center, including outfitting classroom and interactive laboratories.
"Metro State's Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center is the only one of its kind in an urban center and one of only a dozen facilities like it in the United States," according to Metro State President Stephen Jordan.
"The Marriott Foundation's support will help us provide unique career training and educational opportunities for students. Locally, the hospitality industry is one of the job-growth bright spots, so the gift's timing couldn't be better from a workforce development perspective." Jordan explained.
Chad Gruhl, chair of the Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center, said Metro students pursuing hospitality careers have been working in Marriott properties for years, so he believes the new hotel will be a nice fit.
The select-service SpringHill Suites by Marriott Hotel will be comprised of 150 rooms. It will connect up to a 28,000-square-foot Hospitality Learning Center and a 5,000-square-foot Conference Center that will be managed by Sage Hospitality.
Besides the gift, a special purpose corporation (SPC) was formed for the Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center that provides for its financing, construction, operation and management. In November 2010, bonds were issued for the project and construction began in January 2011 with a projected completion in fall of 2012.
No tax dollars are being used toward the project. Operating proceeds from the hotel will flow to the Metro State Foundation for scholarships and academic program support.
For more information on the Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center and a full list of project supporters, please visit
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